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Religious delegation decries human rights' abuses in Honduras

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A religious delegation recently returned from a week-long visit to Honduras and issued as statement calling upon the U.S.:


  • to be unequivocal and very public in denouncing the brutal human rights violations committed by Honduran military and police forces;

  • to cancel diplomatic as well as tourist and business visas for a broader group of those implicated in orchestrating or leading the coup;

  • to freeze the accounts in U.S. banks of these same coup leaders; and

  • to follow the example of other nations by recalling Ambassador Llorens until the legitimate president of Honduras is restored to office.

Ted Kennedy's Catholicism

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Over on PoliticsDaily.com, David Gibson has one of the more interesting critiques of Ted Kennedy's life and times -- especially as it relates to his Catholicism -- that I have read. A teaser:

It is tempting to view Ted Kennedy's passing as the end of an era, both politically and culturally, but also religiously -- the end of a reform-minded, socially oriented Catholicism that entered the mainstream in the 1960s ...

Yet conservatives shouldn't be too quick to bury the past and proclaim their own orthodoxy as the true heir of the American Catholic future. Surveys of young adult Catholics over recent years have shown that, in many respects, the younger generation resembles Kennedy's approach to faith and politics, with social justice and equality for women and gays as public markers of their religion, and devotion to the sacraments the lodestar of their private devotion.

Read the full column here: Camelot Catholicism: The Once and Future Church?

The world's eyes on Tulsa

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The globalization of information is something we live with every day, so much so that we take it for granted. But every once in a while, some thing happens that draws one's attention to the fact that news, information, is global and that diverse people have common interests

As a case in point, take a look at this sampling of sources and headlines for the last two days or so:

From NCR: Okla. bishop no longer faces people at Mass
From NewsOK.com: Tulsa Bishop to no longer face congregation during Mass
From InfoCatólica: El obispo de Tulsa, Oklahoma, reinstaura la posición «Ad Orientem»
From RKnieuws: Amerikaanse bisschop draagt mis weer op 'met rug naar het volk'
From Le Nouvelliste: À Tulsa (Oklahoma), l'évêque célèbre désormais « ad orientem »
From Agenzia di Stampa Asca: Vescovo usa celebrera' messa con le 'spalle al popolo'
From La Vie: Au Far West, la messe passe à l'Est
From TTX Công Giáo Vi?t Nam: Thánh L? Quay V? H??ng ?ông (Ch'nh trong chi?u h??ng ?y, ??c Cha Edward Slattery, ...)

I guess that it just goes to show you that a good story has legs.

Ted Kennedy: A Lion for Nuclear Disarmament

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Yesterday in this space I reported that in an interview I had with Ted Kennedy in 1981 he said that nuclear disarmament was the greatest challenge we faced as a nation, indeed, as a world family.

Not surprisingly, others are similarly reporting Kennedy's support for ridding the planet of these immoral weapons (Immoral, yes, because, by their very nature [size and contaminants], they cannot discriminate between combatants and noncombatants.)

Be mindful, age more slowly

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Want to age more slowly? Try mindfulness. At least one study links staying young with being mindful. When I was reading about the study I was, well, er, mindful about a book Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister wrote recently in which she essentially argues that one's biological clock can be influenced by one's spiritual or psychological clock. She calls it aging gracefully. I like that too.

My encounters with Ted Kennedy

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I had two personal encounters with Ted Kennedy. The first was in Saigon in 1967 when I met him for dinner. We talked about war refugees. The second was almost 15 years later. We met in Washington. We talked about nuclear war and global poverty.

During the Vietnam War, I was a volunteer working for a nonprofit organization called International Voluntary Services in the province town of Tuy Hoa in central Vietnam. I had been in Vietnam for less than a year and had been working, as the only American, in the Dong Tac refugee camp. It was a god-forsaken place, home to some 20,000 refugees, mostly the elderly, women and children. Their homes had been destroyed in the fighting; their men were warriors for one side or the other. These refugees had been “resettled” on the sandy beaches along the coast and were living in unimaginable poverty in tin huts, with almost nothing to eat and no means of earning money for food. The war was creative a living hell for the peasants farmers of Vietnam.

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September 12-25, 2014

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